Eventually it dawned on me though, I was an English unionist and I had been asked to post on a Scottish nationalist's blog. Really there was only one thing I could talk about.
I believe in the union. But I also believe that, the way we are going, the union is destined to end in divorce. A pessmistic view, you might think. But I have to look at what the SNP have achieved in Scotland, and when I do look I see something quite extraordinary. Something made all the more extraordinary by the fact that it is hidden in plain sight.
Perhaps this sounds a bit cryptic, but that is my point exactly. Unless you really pay attention, you don't see it. The best way to explain is by studying the remarks made by someone who should be leading the fight against Scottish nationalism, Jim Murphy, in The Scotsman:
"For the Scottish banks it was Britain or Bust. The recapitalising of the banks cost £50 billion – that's £10,000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland. And the Asset Protection Scheme..which equates to six times the annual value of the Scottish economy...In a global economy there is nowhere to hide. The best protection is integration into a strong economy."
Unionists are dancing to the SNP's tune. Could Iain Gray better Alex Salmond in a debate on economics? No, and it would be a waste of time trying. More than that, who can get enthused about the union when political leaders, who claim to support its continuation, allow themselves to be restricted to an economic debate? The SNP have the economics and they have 'freedom!', and people like that. If I were a Scot, I would.
Unless unionists regain control of the political debate, I see no way back. The march foward of Scottish nationalism will become irreversible. I give it maybe five, ten years. But when the economy picks up again, what will the unionists have to offer?
I believe in the union because I believe the Scots and the English have more in common than we don't. Sure, our accents are a bit different, and yes we do slightly different things at Christmas. But we are the same people, really. When I am in Scotland, do I feel like I am in a foreign country? Absolutely not. In fact, I feel more at home in Edinburgh than I do in London. If Scotland becomes independent, we will start to drift apart. It is a natural product of not having any civic nationalism to bind us together. Perhaps it might not happen straight away, but it will eventually come. Just look at the Irish Republic.
I like not feeling like a foreigner in Edinburgh, and I hope Scots don't feel like foreigners when they go to Berwick. Lets hope that wont change.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
I've asked a few folks to write a couple of guest posts over the next couple of weeks. This one is from fellow blogger Arnie Craven, formerly of The Right Student and now writing a solo project at Another Brilliant Blog. He's a Yorkshireman, a Unionist and a Twit too. A unionist writing on a nationalist leaning blog... what is the world coming to!
From what I can gather, Malc and I share a lot of common ground, politically. Look at his political compass result, mine was exactly the same. Reading his posts, I don't find a lot to disagree with. As such, when he asked me to write a guest blog, I had to think long and hard about what to discuss. I didn't want you to think you were reading one of his blogs, after all.
I ask you, on what is his argument focused? If you follow the link, you will see he devotes a couple of words to monarchy, embassies, things like that. But ultimately, it is all economics. And that is what is so amazing about what the SNP have done, they have come to completely dominate the Scottish political discourse.